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A bonus to make right side into the wrong side?

By The Siberian Times reporter
04 February 2013

Drivers in the Far East of Russia could receive a discount on new Russian-manufactured Japanese cars.

Primorye region governor Vladimir Miklushevsky suggested a scheme under which there is a bonus for trading in an old wrong-side driver car when buying a new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or other model. Pictured: Vladivostok, The Siberian Times 

They would have to trade-in old right-hand drive cars in order to qualify. Primorye region governor Vladimir Miklushevsky suggested a scheme under which there is a bonus for trading in an old wrong-side driver car when buying a new Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or other model.

'This may be one of the possible variants,' he said. 

Russia and Japan drive on opposite sides of the road, yet many Japanese cars have been imported to Siberia and the Far East of Russia. 

Drivers were ready to pay significant import duties to bring in the cars. 

In the Far East, as many as 90 per cent of cars are imported right-hand drive cars, designed for motoring on the left hand side of the road. 

New models of Toyota and Mazda at recently constructed plants in the region are designed for Russian roads, so are left-hand drive designed for driving on the right hand side of the road. As well as safety benefits, Miklushevsky says the measure will improve the environment in Primorye territory, due to less pollution and disposing of abandoned cars. 

In 2009, the Sollers-Far East plant was commissioned in Vladivostok assembling SsangYong sport utility vehicles. In 2012, the plant produced about 29,000 cars. In 2012, the Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus started the commercial production of its models. The company produces the Mazda CX-5 crossovers and Mazda 6 sedans.

Comments (1)

Right Hand Drive's neurologically better suited to right-handed drivers, leaving the simple gearlever movements to the left arm. Spiral staircases in UK castles go down to the left as it gave an advantage to right-handed defenders. Similarly, travelling on the left side of the road means an approaching vagabond or highwayman is more easily fended off with your sword. I've driven a LHD Porsche 911 in England/Isle of Man and it didn't feel I had as much of a link with the steering and my brain with my left hand on the steering wheel. The only advantage was when stopping, I got out straight onto the pavement. As a major justification for buying a RHD car, it's worth much less to car thieves whose market is primarily for LHD cars around Siberia.
Cam Johnson, UK
08/02/2013 10:59
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